rundown of Michigan's riser
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- Alabama -- The kingpin, as you say. If Alabama, in all their riches, is interested, the kid must be worthy of attention.
- Florida -- I view Florida as one of the few serious contenders to Alabama's supremecy in the SEC.
- Ohio State -- Just because they're our chief rival.
- Notre Dame -- love 'em or hate 'em, Brian Kelley has, for now at least, put them back in the driver's seat for national attention.
|3 hours 20 min ago||My reading of it was this --||
My reading of it was this -- they didn't bring an 8th guy into the box because they didn't have to.
In short -- OSU didn't feel much threatened by our run game. So we kept running it for no gain against a normal 7 man front. With the 8th guy back our passing game was stymied as well.
Balance is not merely the play calling but also the credible threat of the called plays being successful.
|6 hours 1 min ago||I like to ponder what one||
I like to ponder what one game stat tells the story best when it comes to a loss.
Turnovers are an obvious one. Third down conversion is another. 1st down production is a yet another.
All are related to the concept of "turns."
I'm okay with the concept as told by Borges. Like you, I don't think he's imputing any magic to the number of turns ... just that in general when an offense gets the opportunity to snap the ball in a game there's a better chance of making yards and points. No team ever won a football game by going 3-and-out on a consistent basis.
(Hell, that's what we do to other teams ... and it's a glorious thing to watch the Michigan defense just stymie opponents on 1st down, and lay those bone-crushing 3rd-and-short stops on 'em.)
|6 hours 7 min ago||... they weren't playing a||
... they weren't playing a man down in the box because they figured that would be enough.
That's the key ... sad fact is our running game was not that good last year. For whatever reason it just was not a credible threat with the exception of Robinson when he was healthy.
In the interview Borges kept emphasizing balance. Last year his offense didn't have as much of it as it did in 2011 or, we hope, 2013.
|8 hours 17 min ago||Does he really think that the||
Does he really think that the defense can't be good if the offense plays up tempo?
I read that as meaning not so much it can't be ... but rather it tends not to be.
My sense is he doesn't think up-tempo is inherently bad ... just not something he feels the offense should be built upon exclusively. Alabama, Stanford, to a degree Florida and even Ohio State has shown that a managed-tempo offense can be really powerful.
I also wonder how much was dictated by the talent he had on hand these last two years. As Pete99 mentions, RR's up-tempo was built on finely-honed execution. Up-tempo without good execution is a mess.
|8 hours 46 min ago||Well ... Heiko's knowledge of||
Well ... Heiko's knowledge of football is better than most (certainly mine) ... and he's got a gift for making it approachable. So thank you for the further insight.
"... or emphasizing the author's intelligence."
Oh man ... talk about a pet peeve of mine ... I can't count how many conference calls and meetings I've been in where most of the talk has nothing whatever to do with advancing the objective, but rather just to show how smart the speaker is.
|1 day 13 hours ago||Access||
I think that's a testament to the respect Borges has for Heiko.
I've never met Heiko, but he strikes me as similar to Chris Brown at "Smart Football" -- a fan of the game and a student of the mechanics. Borges is a self-proclaimed "football junky." My guess is there's a mutual admiration and respect thing here that enabled the interview.
I would love to spend a week of unrestricted access to those lead-up meetings and practices. Not say a word. Just watch and absorb.
|3 days 2 hours ago||1976||
I cut my teeth on Michigan football starting in 1973 with Denny Franklin and Mike Landry, and I really hit my stride with the 1976 team with Ricky Leach and Jim Smith. I can still name the entire starting defensive lineup for 1976 ("Anderson, Morton, Lang, Hennessey, Todesco, Vogely, O'Neil, Bolden, Howard, Hicks and Zuver."). I had a football on which I wrote in pen the score of each game Michigan played, along with the attendance.
I bled Michigan blue then, and still do. I have never waivered. Go Blue!
|3 days 2 hours ago||Smith||
1976 ... I remember the call from Ufer ... "The kick is up ... it's ... no good ... no good ... no good." I was sitting in the back of my parents' care listening to Ufer on the radio.
I remember Jim Smith well ... I loved him at Michigan, and followed him as he went to Pittsburgh.
|4 days 2 hours ago||Definition of "Iconic"||
Fluff article; fluff poll ... fills space until the season starts.
Now, that said ... setting aside home-team favoritism ... a case can easily be made that Michigan's helmet is the most iconic in all of college football.
The only other helmets that might be in the same ballpark would be USC, Texas, and for those who get into "simplicity" the helmets of Penn State and/or Alabama. I flat reject Notre Dame's fancy-pants glitter helmet bullshit. Maybe if they were still flat-gold and all battered up. Maybe.
Second-tier helmets then stack up: Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Oregon (recent addition) ... meh, then it becomes a blur.
But one helmet is instantly recognizable by any fan anywhere in the country: Michigan's.
As I said, the most iconic in all college football. Bar none.
|1 week 2 hours ago||'Bama||
Every team in the SEC -- SEC West in particular; SEC east secondarily -- is facing the prospect of losing to the Alabama steamroller.
Want to know why Urban Meyer left Florida? It wasn't the "health" reasons -- it was Alabama.
"Satan?" No. Just playing the SEC game better than everyone else.
Saban's time to tumble will come. Be patient, my friends ... it will come.
|1 week 12 hours ago||Your e-mailed Question||
I was reading your e-mail and the following thoughts came to mind ...
I'd challenge this premise and say it's not so much Meyer letting us back in as Hoke and staff asserting themselves more effectively.
My sense is if Tressel were still coach at OSU we'd see Hoke and staff doing just as well as they are now against Meyer; perhaps better.
Prediction: if Tressel chooses to respond (which he probably won't), he would deny Meyer is foregoing "Ohio First." That would be seen as criticizing Meyer, and I can't see Tressel doing that.
|1 week 1 day ago||Gameday Jobs||
I spent several seasons at a different school doing just those things -- traffic control, parking lot surveillance, anything to earn a buck. Pay at that time was $3.15/hour. I was grateful for every penny, for I paid for college and lived off whatever scraps I could get.
To be honest? I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I had a great relationship with my other crew members, the days were long, hard ... and very rewarding. It felt great earning pay for hard work performed.
I'd recommend it for anyone who's young, energentic and understands the value of hard work for honest pay.
|1 week 3 days ago||Position Groups||
Very good point. I hadn't thought about that level of granularity before.
When I think of Alabama, I think of excellent linemen (O and D) and running backs.
Florida, as you say, is big on speed positions -- DBs, WRs.
Ohio State under Meyer has really been focusing on the defensive side of the ball, and defensive linemen of late ... which is why Hoke's success recruiting the D-Line is satisfying.
The QB position is interesting ... not sure Michigan's style (pro) intersects much with Ohio State's or Notre Dame. Much more intersection with Alabama and Florida.
I'm not sure who is "Linebacker U" right now** ... but then again the linebacker position has morphed quite a bit since the days when Penn State held that title.
**EDIT - I suppose a case could be made for Michigan State to hold the Linebacker U designation, but for whatever reason that has a tenuous hold in my mind. Yes, they've been good of late, but I don't sense that will continue.
|1 week 3 days ago||Offer Comparisons||
This is an interesting metric.
When I scan a recruits offer list, I tend to lock on four schools -- Alabama, Florida, Ohio State and Notre Dame.
There's a bunch of schools left off that list -- Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, LSU -- but to me those four above indicate Michigan is right in the thick of things on recruiting. If they're competing for a player against those four, Michigan is playing with the big dogs.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||It started with a couple of||
It started with a couple of nice cigars out back with my neighbor and some Boddington's Pub Ale.
For "Mad Men" I switched up to Jose Cuervo Especial.
I stopped one drink short of too far. I count that as a win.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Barwis is obviously a||
Barwis is obviously a high-energy guy ... and that likely manifests in him through near constant motion.
It could also be that large venue public speaking isn't his most comfortable thing, and some of the pacing around was just nervous energy.
Public speaking on a large stage requires a certain balance of movement and remaining stationary. Movement to maintain visual interest; stationary to refocus the audience and make emphatic points.
So, if we stipulate the message was terrific and we just focus on the delivery style ... then I think Barwis could enhance his delivery by learning to pause, fix the feet and address the audience at key points in his message ... then resume movement, but learn to make it a stroll rather than a stride.
My two cents. (I have some experience speaking in front of audiences.)
|3 weeks 2 days ago||TE?||
I wonder how Tebow would do as a converted TE?
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Irrational?||
Not irrational ... just clear-eyed observation from a fan whose team exemplifies the word "inept."
|3 weeks 4 days ago||They [Michigan] should at||
And maybe kickoff and punt returner. Those are the most obvious NFL roles for him. Then some kind of WR.
But there's the issue of injury. And until it looked like the injury gods forced the decision to make Gardner #1, I doubt the coaches were going to risk Robinson in any of those roles.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Barkley||
Possibly ... but part of me wonders if he would have been able to "ride the wave" of enthusiasm for QBs last year. He's nowhere near as good as RGIII or Luck, but last year was all about the QB and he might have enjoyed success by association.
This year? QB = meh. Barkley QB = double meh.
I almost feel sorry for the kid. Almost.
|4 weeks 15 hours ago||Recruiting the Family||
It's not just about football ... and it's not about winning the hearts of just the players.
This is Hoke's signature ... and what makes it particularly powerful is Hoke means it.
As mentioned before ... the young ladies of Ann Arbor should take note. :-)
|4 weeks 3 days ago||... the aura of||
I'll grant the point that Miles' style would have been a difficult swallow for the "U-M blue-blood establishment." But I think the implicit characterization of Hoke (or any U-M coach for that matter) having to project an "aura of unrelenting pastor-like rectitude" is not quite applicable to Hoke.
Or, to be more precise, to the degree Hoke demonstrates "rightness of principle or conduct; moral virtue" (dictionary.com) I believe it is quite sincere, and springs from a very deep belief in Hoke about the principles and virtues he espouses.
I'm not saying you were questioning Hoke's sincerity ... what I'm saying is that in today's world rectitude is taken as a bad thing; a sign of judgmentalism; a sign of unfair restraints imposed on others against their will.
I don't think Hoke embodies that at all. Is he lax and permissive? Certainly not. He outlines the principles under which Michigan players are expected to operate, and he's quite clear about why he's doing it -- for the benefit of the players. Hard-word, honor, integrity, responsibility and community are hardly vices; they are in fact powerful virtues in this day and age. Hoke is providing his players a real-life appreciation of them. That will serve these players throughout their life.
For that I give Hoke a lot of credit. And I have deep respect for him because of it.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Nice catch ... correlation is||
Nice catch ... correlation is not causation.
But that aside, I really don't care what Dantonio or any other coach says. The beauty of football is it's settled on the field. Better still, it's more often than not settled based on the fundamentals, not trickery or PR.
The scoreboard will tell the story.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||One of the aspects of the||
One of the aspects of the Boston Marathon bombing was the setting and context is something we can related to easier than, say, a marketplace in Iraq. The more we relate to the setting, the more the reality of the event touches the nerves.
At times like these I think back and wonder how the city of London would have survived the Nazi air raids of 1940 if every night's bombing produced too much introspection. No doubt there was lots of personal losses on a daily basis there ... and yet, the city kept going.
As must we. Life goes on. That is not a dismissal of those who have been lost or maimed, or their loved ones. Just a harsh reality of this thing we call life on this mortal coil.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Way too much footage of the||
Way too much footage of the goofy band, not nearly enough of the chick in the t-shirt. Just sayin'.
|5 weeks 1 hour ago||Ryan Mid-October?||
"He's projected to be healthy by mid-October"
I recall Hoke talking about this ... but was he indicating it's likely, or just possible?
I was under the impression Hoke was expressing more what was possible. But then again, he rarely sets false expectations, so maybe he's operating on solid information.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||Hoke’s staff impressed||
Reminds me of the Grey Poupon commercial: "But of course!" :-)
|5 weeks 3 days ago||Example #3,589 while I like||
Example #3,589 while I like Hoke:
Any update on Hagerup’s status?
What would you need to see from a JUCO transfer in order to take him?
“He’d better be pretty good."
Concise, precise and to the point. :-)
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Thy vs. Thine||
Where's Seth? He's the resident expert in the use of "Thy" vs. "Thine." *
* Seth corrected a diary entry of mine last year, but he did it in such a good-natured way I couldn't be upset. I think "thine" is the proper use in this context. But I ain't no good with grammar.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Hoke||
Have I mentioned I love Coach Hoke?
He has his players' backs ... never talks 'em down ... and these kids will walk through walls for Hoke and the other coaches.